Basketball: Player-coaches await penalties for fracas

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The Independent Online

Skouson Harker and Fab Flournoy, player-coaches of Birmingham Bullets and Newcastle Eagles, will this week learn the extent of their punishment after their on-court bust-up in the BBL fixture nine days ago.

The sport's governing bodies could face more problems of public relations damage limitation, after Birmingham's Harker made a statement to police about incidents he alleges happened in the locker-room corridor after both were ejected from the game.

England Basketball's disciplinary officer will decide on the punishment for Flournoy, who admits throwing the punch for which he was ejected, and Harker, who was thrown out minutes later for swearing at game officials. The BBL has launched its own inquiry into the allegation that he was struck by Flournoy in the corridor outside the locker-rooms.

Harker put the distraction behind him last night with 22 points for Bullets in an 88-69 BBL Trophy group win over the understrength London Towers, which put Leicester Riders through to the semi-finals with the other group winners, Guildford and Newcastle. They will be joined by the best second-placed team, which could be Scottish Rocks if they beat Teesside by 29 points or more tomorrow or, if not, Bullets.

Riders stayed in contention for qualification for the semi-finals with a 69-61 win at Milton Keynes Lions yesterday afternoon.